I met my dear friend, Andrea, through a nonprofit called The Net - a ministry based in Fort Worth, Texas. Andrea is a 42-year-old woman who's seen and experienced more than I can possibly imagine. As a former victim of the sex industry, she's been sexually exploited, her body has been purchased, her value demeaned, her sense of self-worth crushed.
Emphasis on the past tense there.
Now, Andrea is going through a recovery program designed to rehabilitate her into a better life. She's going through counseling, taking classes, paying off jail time with service and court requirements, growing in her faith and ultimately knowing that life has so much more to offer her than what it has thus far. While she lives at a homeless shelter right now, she one day wants to get a job and have her own place, and I know that with her fierce determination and strong spirit, she will.
One day recently, I texted Andrea to ask her if I can be praying for anything for her this week. She responded, simply: "Strength." I got goosebumps remembering that just a month ago, my mom had bought myself a Giving Key with that same word on it. I loved it and wanted to hold onto it forever, but I knew that there's no way God wanted me to keep it. That necklace belonged to Andrea.
So I gave it to her a few days ago, hoping that when she's at the shelter and going through a rough time, when she's struggling to overcome her past ways and when she's even doubting that God is going to answer her prayers, that she is literally clothed in the Strength to make it through anything.